One of the most important parts of a salesperson’s arsenal is a well-written sales proposal. This document is used to encourage potential clients to buy the product or service you have on offer. It must not be confused with a business plan. The main difference between a business plan and a sales proposal is that a business plan is used to get a loan from a bank or potential investor and a sales proposal is used to gain new business by showing the potential client how your product can satisfy their needs. Sales proposals can either be solicited or unsolicited. When it is being solicited then a company will send out a request for proposal (RFP) and it is easier to get business from these types of proposals then unsolicited ones.
Here are four keys to consider when you put your sales proposal together:
1. Focus on your client and their problem
It is important that you focus on your client’s problem and advise them how your product could be the solution. Use “you” rather then “I” and “we” when writing your proposal. This will help to keep the proposal focused on your prospect and how your product or service can best serve the needs they have. Use comparisons to show the benefits of using your product versus using something which could be consider inferior. This will encourage the prospect to see the advantage of using your product and give more power to your proposal. Make sure that the benefits are personal and that the costs are impersonal. You can do this by saying “you will see the increase in client satisfaction when you use our coffee machines. The investment made by Blah Blah company will be R1000”.
2. Give them options
This one can be a little tricky because you can err on either giving too many options or too few options. You should give your prospects three options. This will make them more eager to choose your product as you give them the sense that they have looked around and they get to choose the best solution that suits them. It also may happen that the prospect goes for a better option then if you had just proposed one or two. When you list the options ensure they decrease in value as this will give the prospect a feeling of relief as they go through the various options that you suggest
3. Make it short and sweet
Though you may be able to ramble on extensively as to why you are the best option. It is best to keep your proposal short and concise. Use headings or titles so that the prospect can easily identify the information they want to read. Furthermore, it is important to write in a standard formal tone. Try to avoid using unnecessary jargon and marketing speak. The easier it is for your prospect to digest the information you give them, the easier it is for them to accept your proposal. Be aware of the words you use in your proposal. Some words may have negative connotations. For example: it is better to talk about an “investment” then a “cost” as “investment” suggests a return on what you spend and “cost” normally suggests a loss of money.
4. Finish strong
When it comes to the end of your proposal ensure that you have a summary of the important points in your proposal as many prospects will flip to the summary to see what the document is about. In addition, you should put a call to action at the end of the proposal to encourage the prospect to accept it. Do not end your proposal with a weak comment like “I hope to hear from you soon”.
If you follow these steps you will be well on your way to writing a business-winning sales proposal. Go out there and write your heart out and win the next great deal.
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